In 1992, our founding Executive Director had an idea. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had just become law and he recognized two important things: that the ADA Coordinators and Professionals that were required by the ADA for the State and local governments as well as those in the private sector would be key to the successful implementation of the new law. These people would need accurate, up-to-date information, if they were going to do their jobs successfully.
From that concept was born the National Association of ADA Coordinators. Also, the idea was developed that one of the best ways to provide sound information was by assembling ADA experts and coordinators together for in-depth training.
Yes, 29 years ago our founding Executive Director held this association’s first ADA conference. We assembled in Long Beach, California. The idea proved a triumph from the start. He convinced the government officials with expertise on the ADA from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and from U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to join with State and local leaders and coordinators for in-depth, comprehensive sessions. A few years later, representatives from the U.S.Department of Education (DOE), U.S.Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the U.S. Access Board, and the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) were added to our conferences.
Over the years the conferences have grown and developed, providing the most up-to-dateinformation, keeping abreast of new trends and developments, and still providing the basicsfor persons new to their coordinator positions.
Another development in these annual conferences was the role played by the ADA Coordinators themselves. Many coordinators return each year. They share stories and best practices, take ADA concepts and make them relevant and useful to ADA Coordinators. The results make our conferences one of the most valued and interesting ADA training events in the country.
Before 2020 and the Pandemic, NAADAC held two conferences each year, one on the west coast and the other on the east coast. These conferences are designed to give attendees access to the latest information on the ADA in informal settings that provide many opportunities to learn from nationally-known experts. Our in-person conferences typically have less than 200 which makes for many opportunities to ask questions and network with ADA coordinators and ADA professionals. Now, in 2021, NAADAC is planning its first in-person conference for late April 2022 in Florida and planning a series of free Webinars starting in the fall of 2021 and continuing into 2022. Watch the NAADAC home page for updates on these sessions!
We encourage you to become an Associate and NAADAC member! Doing so will put you in touch with the best available ADA information and help you in your daily ADA duties and responsibilities.